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Sowerbys supports student safety

Published: 24/11/2021

A bid to put student safety first in Dereham is being supported by Sowerbys.

Banners to raise awareness of students crossing busy roads near Northgate High School have been presented to students by Sowerbys Dereham Property Specialists.

Over the years, the school has taken care to ensure that students are kept safe on arrival, during and departing school; particularly helped by Mr MacDonald, a member of staff at the school standing at the main crossing points to ensure students pass the road safely.

Mr Macdonald said he is aware of how challenging crossing Dereham's roads can be, particularly for students who are vulnerable and may not have the confidence to cross the road without support.

The weather can on occasions be extreme, but this has not prevented the support being there.

Staff at Northgate School said they are delighted to display road safety banners at the front and rear of school to remind drivers to slow down, with the support of Sowerbys.

Sam Jones, Sowerbys Dereham Branch Manager, said: “We are proud to support Dereham Northgate High School in their ongoing efforts to ensure student safety.

"We are always looking for ways to support local people and Mr MacDonald is a fantastic example of community spirit.

“For several years Mr MacDonald has taken time out of his day to make sure students can cross the road safely to and from school.

“It was great to meet him, staff and students of Northgate to personally hand over the banners.”

Head pupils Freya and Lewis were present to receive the banners.

They said they have both experienced the struggles of navigating the roads surrounding the school during their time at Northgate and hope to see the next generation of students with a safer crossing in place.

In the past students have conducted traffic surveys and presented their findings during assemblies and to the local councillors of Dereham.

The school's analysis has been given strong support from local councillors.

School assemblies are in place to continue to highlight road safety to all our students, especially as we approach the dark winter weather and visibility is poor.

Mr MacDonald, attended a virtual meeting, hosted by Dereham Town Council in October this year, to update District councillors of the ongoing challenges and initiative to date, highlighting the need for safety improvements on one of the town's busiest roads.

It is hoped that a zebra crossing will be installed in the future to be a major level of support to the community and the children of Northgate.

The Mayor of Dereham, himself a former student of Northgate, commented: “The Town Council have recently put a bid in with Norfolk County Council for a pedestrian crossing to be installed, which would be the best long-term solution.

“I hope that the new signs will raise awareness to drivers of the school crossing and make it a safer place for children. “A big thanks to Sowerbys for supporting the community by sponsoring the signs.”